Quick analysis: July is a milestone month for CFPB complaints against debt collectors, if only because we have reached the one-year mark for complaint reporting and can begin benchmarking year-over-year comparisons.

Having said that, month #1 for CFPB complaints against debt collectors (July 2013) was pretty tame with only 901 complaints filed – a number that we all know dramatically rises in the months to follow it.

July 2014 saw a strong 3269 complaints filed, though that was down a bit from the previous month with 3390 complaints filed in June (up from the reported 3336 a month ago)

On to the statutory horse race, We saw a second straight month of FDCPA gains, but the overall rate is still down double-digits YTD, at 12.4% below 2013.

FCRA and TCPA both showed a bit of volatility last month, with FCRA up over 15% and TCPA down almost 8% from July. Both are still significantly up YTD though, FCRA at 11.6% and TCPA up 33.6% over 2013.

Of the 828 FDCPA cases filed, 82 (9.9%) of them are class actions. Of the 202 FCRA lawsuits filed, 21 (10.4%) are class actions. And of the 196 TCPA lawsuits filed, 19 (9.7%) are class actions.

Finally, 32% of the consumers who filed litigation in July are considered repeat filers, having filed similar litigation in the past.

Comparisons: Current Period: Previous Period: Previous Year Comp:
Jul 01 – 31, 2014 Jun 01 – 30, 2014 Jul 01 – 31, 2013
CFPB Complaints  3269 3390 -3.7% 901 -262.8%
FDCPA lawsuits  828 815 1.6% 886 -7.0%
FCRA lawsuits  202 171 15.3% 176 12.9%
TCPA lawsuits  196 211 -7.7% 143 27.0%
YTD CFPB Complaints  23794 901 96.2%
YTD FDCPA lawsuits  5701 6406 -12.4%
YTD FCRA lawsuits  1376 1217 11.6%
YTD TCPA lawsuits  1525 1012 33.6%

Complaint Statistics:

3269 consumers filed CFPB complaints against debt collectors and about 1146 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes in Jul 2014. Here is an approximate breakdown:

  • 3269 CFPB Complaints
  • 828 FDCPA
  • 196 TCPA
  • 202 FCRA

Litigation Summary (scroll down for CFPB data):

  • Of those cases, there were about 1146 unique plaintiffs (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit).
  • Of those plaintiffs, about 365, or (32%), had sued under consumer statutes before.
  • Combined, those plaintiffs have filed about 1564 lawsuits since 2001
  • Actions were filed in 160 different US District Court branches.
  • About 855 different collection firms and creditors were sued.

The top courts where lawsuits were filed:

  • 74 Lawsuits: Illinois Northern District Court – Chicago
  • 56 Lawsuits: Pennsylvania Eastern District Court – Philadelphia
  • 46 Lawsuits: Colorado District Court – Denver
  • 44 Lawsuits: California Central District Court – Los Angeles
  • 33 Lawsuits: California Southern District Court – San Diego
  • 33 Lawsuits: New York Eastern District Court – Brooklyn
  • 31 Lawsuits: Michigan Eastern District Court – Detroit
  • 26 Lawsuits: Georgia Northern District Court – Atlanta
  • 25 Lawsuits: Florida Middle District Court – Tampa
  • 22 Lawsuits: Florida Southern District Court – Fort Lauderdale

The most active consumer attorneys were:

  • Representing 30 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 25 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 23 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 20 Consumers: KRISTINA N KASTL
  • Representing 20 Consumers: VICKI PIONTEK
  • Representing 20 Consumers: MICHAEL P DOYLE
  • Representing 20 Consumers: PATRICK M DENNIS
  • Representing 19 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 17 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 17 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS

Statistics Year to Date:

7401 total lawsuits for 2014, including:

  • 5701 FDCPA
  • 1376 FCRA
  • 1525 TCPA

Number of Unique Plaintiffs for 2014: 7335 (including multiple plaintiffs in one suit)

The most active consumer attorneys of the year:

  • Representing 323 Consumers: SERGEI LEMBERG
  • Representing 162 Consumers: DAVID MICHAEL LARSON
  • Representing 116 Consumers: JOHN THOMAS STEINKAMP
  • Representing 112 Consumers: TODD M FRIEDMAN
  • Representing 107 Consumers: MICHAEL ANTHONY EADES
  • Representing 104 Consumers: ADAM JON FISHBEIN
  • Representing 103 Consumers: DAVID J PHILIPPS
  • Representing 100 Consumers: ANGIE K ROBERTSON
  • Representing 85 Consumers: CRAIG THOR KIMMEL
  • Representing 80 Consumers: MARY ELIZABETH PHILIPPS


CFPB Complaint Statistics:

There were 3269 complaints filed against debt collectors in Jul 2014.

Total number of debt collectors complained about: 717

The types of debt behind the complaints were:

  • 886 Other (phone, health club, etc.) (27%)
  • 712 Unknown (22%)
  • 679 Credit card (21%)
  • 407 Medical (12%)
  • 263 Payday loan (8%)
  • 105 Mortgage (3%)
  • 87 Auto (3%)
  • 74 Non-federal student loan (2%)
  • 56 Federal student loan (2%)

Here is a breakdown of complaints:

  • 1347 Cont’d attempts collect debt not owed (41%)
  • 653 Communication tactics (20%)
  • 563 Disclosure verification of debt (17%)
  • 268 False statements or representation (8%)
  • 239 Taking/threatening an illegal action (7%)
  • 199 Improper contact or sharing of info (6%)

The top five subissues were:

  • 829 Debt is not mine (25%)
  • 405 Debt was paid (12%)
  • 396 Not given enough info to verify debt (12%)
  • 385 Frequent or repeated calls (12%)
  • 209 Attempted to collect wrong amount (6%)

The top states complaints were filed from are:

  • 441 Complaints: CA
  • 288 Complaints: TX
  • 254 Complaints: FL
  • 173 Complaints: NY
  • 164 Complaints: GA
  • 138 Complaints: OH
  • 116 Complaints: NJ
  • 115 Complaints: IL
  • 113 Complaints: PA
  • 106 Complaints: VA

The status of the month’s complaints are as follows:

  • 2225 Closed with explanation (68%)
  • 573 Closed with non-monetary relief (18%)
  • 241 In progress (7%)
  • 114 Closed (3%)
  • 75 Untimely response (2%)
  • 41 Closed with monetary relief (1%)

This includes 3132 (96%) timely responses to complaints, and 137 (4%) untimely responses.

Of the company responses, consumers accepted 0 (0%) of them, disputed 414 (13%) of them, and 2855 (87%) were N\A.

The top five days for complaints were:

  • 174 Complaints: Mon, 07/07/2014
  • 158 Complaints: Thu, 07/10/2014
  • 157 Complaints: Thu, 07/24/2014
  • 156 Complaints: Mon, 07/14/2014
  • 155 Complaints: Wed, 07/09/2014

API Access

We offer two powerful APIs to businesses that communicate with consumers:

  • The primary Litigious Consumer Scrub uses a combination of name, geography (and optionally SSN) to identify consumers who have filed lawsuits in the past.
  • The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub pulls every phone number from our proprietary database of litigants and runs your phones against ours.

These APIs allow you to check your data against our database on the fly. Clients love using this to handle risk management without missing a beat in their daily workflow.

Workers Comp Scrub

Workers Comp-inspired FDCPA lawsuits are growing aggressively, particularly in Florida. Only WebRecon can tell you who in your database may have a Florida Worker’s Comp case filed that could trigger litigation against you.

You can’t stop 100% of all lawsuits, but if you collect medical in Florida and you don’t have a process in place to show the court that you have a way to check every file against the Workers Comp database, then you have lost the case before it even begins.

Knock these suits out of the park with the Workers Comp Scrub.

Our Monthly Client Newsletter with The Litigant Hotsheet

Anyone can get our guest newsletter, but only clients get the version with the Litigant Hotsheet –  identifying the most active consumer Plaintiffs filing suit in jurisdictions around the country each month. Grab a coffee, shut your door and open your database to make sure you are doing all you can to stay safe.

Individual Vendor Consumer Complaint Search

Just like Vendor Monitoring, but without the monitoring. Search any business’s history of consumer complaints (Litigation, CFPB, BBB, State AG) with the click of a button! Great for on-the-fly gut checks of the companies you do business with.

Vendor Monitoring

Through vicarious liability, you can be held accountable for the bad behavior of your vendors. If they abuse consumers, for all intents and purposes, so do you. This is a big freakin’ deal!

But fear not, friend. WebRecon can track consumer litigation, CFPB, BBB and State AG Office complaints against the companies you do business with.

When a new complaint of any kind is filed against any of the companies you are monitoring, we’ll automatically push a report out to you with all of the publicly available details so you can react accordingly and if necessary, protect your interests.

The Litigious Consumer Phone Scrub

Would you knowingly dial a number attached to a consumer with a history of litigation? Of course not.

But thousands of companies do just that, every single day. If you’d like to know who they are, simply review the court dockets. They are the ones getting sued the most.

Sure, you can stop dialing consumers. But your marketing and operations teams might not be too excited about that plan.

Another idea? Identify the consumers most likely to sue you, based on previous litigation histories, and just don’t call them.

Identify high-risk phones quickly & easily, before you expose yourself to unnecessary risk.

Litigation Context Search

This is really cool.

Our primary search engine is really designed to search for parties to litigation. Need to know more about a consumer plaintiff? That’s easy. Defendant? Check. Lawyer? No problem.

But if you need to find all 1099C lawsuits filed in July 2020… not so much.

Which is why we developed the Context Search. We have pulled out and indexed the full text from over 140k consumer lawsuits and made them available to you in a search engine, with more than 1000 new lawsuits added each month. Use it to search the text of filed litigation so you can easily identify those hard-to-define trends and cases worth following.

Individual Search Engine

Instantly and easily search our proprietary database for any lawsuit participant – Plaintiff, Defendant or Attorney.

In the results, we’ll show you the full consumer litigation history of any participant, including the “docket data” (who, what, why, where, when) and – in many cases – we can even provide a copy of their actual filed lawsuits.

You can also search by phone, date range, federal/state, class action, court, statute, etc. We offer a ton of flexibility to get you the exact search result you are looking for.

The Litigant Alert Ongoing Monitoring Process

Just like our one-time batch process, but without the whole “one time” thing.

When one of your consumers files new litigation against anyone in the future, you should be the first to know. Our monitoring service can make that happen.

WebRecon can monitor your entire database (or any segment of it) for future instances of consumer litigation filed by the very consumers you are working with, right now!

It is simple to add new consumers to the watchlist, remove inactive accounts, download full reports, etc.

Best of all, we only charge you for the volume of your monitoring database – not the frequency of the searches. Search daily, weekly, every Tuesday and Friday, the 15th of each month, whatever – it is totally up to you! You won’t pay a penny more.

The Litigant Alert One-Time Batch Process

This is our flagship service. Find out why hundreds of companies won’t contact any consumers before running them through WebRecon’s Litigant Alert.

This process identifies consumers with a history of litigation quickly & easily. If they have ever filed lawsuits under FDCPA, TCPA, FCRA or similar statutes, you’ll find out here. 

WebRecon’s proprietary database is simply the most comprehensive collection of dangerous consumer litigation data in existence. 

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